"PTSD affects your whole life," he said.

Rechea Hutchinson said she has lived with her husband Ronnie's struggles with PTSD for nearly 40 years.

"He is terribly angry," she said of her Vietnam veteran husband of 43 years. "The whole time I've been married to him, he's had an explosive temper. For a long time, he wouldn't talk to me about Vietnam."

She said that he came back from the war a different person.

"I know what the war did," she said. "I saw it firsthand."

Now her husband, Ronnie Hutchinson, has been found to have terminal cancer.

She said he also has Parkinson's and other ailments she believes were caused by exposure to Agent Orange, the defoliant used to clear large swaths of vegetation during the Vietnam War.

She wished he had been treated for PTSD early on. She said maybe the cancer would have been caught earlier had he been going to VA for other treatments.

"Our lives would have been different," Rechea Hutchinson said. "I love Ronnie and I know he went through a lot over there."

What's the solution to PTSD?

Some veterans said that with therapy, they have learned to control some of the symptoms. But they said dealing with PTSD is an ongoing process.

"If you hear from somebody that there is this magic cure for PTSD, just keep on going down the road," Fairchild said.

"I personally would say that there are no specific cure for PTSD, but we become increasingly better at managing the symptoms," he added.

Talk therapy is the most common treatment.

Diane Short, administrator of TogetherWeServed.com, said she tries to find help for the veterans members of the military-only social forum she runs.

Many of the 1.5 million members discuss their difficulties with PTSD online.

"No matter what era they served in, no matter what war they served in, they all wore the same boots," she said. "I talk to these guys daily through chat and email. We try to find them local help."

A lot of the men and women who participate in forums and chat on the web site have not sought help for PTSD, but share their troubles with other veterans on the site.

"They find camaraderie and understanding that they are not alone and that's a part of healing," Short said. "Together We Served is really a tight-knit community."

Medication should only be used when someone cannot function and should not be a long-term treatment, said Dr. Georgia Davis, a psychiatrist with Baytree Behavioral Health. Some may need medication, but treatment must focus on the underlying issues.